Sunday, July 28, 2013

Are They Really Beggars?

On hearing "Beggar". The first few images that form in my mind are of a sick differently-abled adult wearing filthy, old and torn clothes. A helpless widow with a child crying in her arms. A hungry and thin teenage boy or girl. All of them asking for food or money in the name of Allah and give you Dua in return.

However, you cannot relate these images to beggars in Zakir Nagar(My locality) during Ramzaan. During this holy month you come across a new breed of beggars. By simply looking you cannot differentiate between a beggar and a common man. There is exponential rise in their number as if someone have outsourced them to my locality for this month. Zakir Nagar and adjacent Batla House are muslim localities and as prescribed all the people here indulge into good deeds like charity in holy month of Ramzaan. This is what attracts beggars from all across Delhi and Allah better knows from what other places they arrive.

These new outsourced beggars are well trained for begging. They use very different and new tactics for attracting attention. I faced some of them:

1. The other day I was returning from office a women in burqa called me "Beta suno". I thought she knows me or she is lost and she is asking for some address.
I stopped, "hmm. Bataiye".
She replied "Beta bhook lagi hai, kuch khilva do". And pointed to the Nihari shop in the corner.
I was surprised. She didn't look like a beggar from any angle.
I started moving and she followed me for about a minute shouting "Beta suno. Beta suno". I was embarrassed.

2. I was buying pakodis today just before a few minutes to iftaar. Someone poked me from behind. I turned and found a girl standing behind. She didn't say anything just spread her hand for begging. Being already late and irritated with sudden poke. I said "Maaf karo yaar".
And I turned back expecting the girl to have gone seeing my irritation and angry look.
To my surprise she poked me again. Controlling my anger I again said, "Maaf karo", and turned back.
She again poked me and also poked the guy standing next to me at that crowded shop. He also turned and gave an angry look. Then she again poked me the fourth time. I got my stuff packed and left the very next moment. I cannot describe how irritated and helpless I felt at that time. I really hate poking.

3. One of my friend offered Biryani when a beggar came while he was eating at a shop. 
Biryaniwala asked "Bhai bade ki(Beef) biryani dun ise ya Chicken".
My friend replied, "20 Rs. ki beef biryani de de".
To this the beggar added, "Chicken dilva do bhai".
And my friend was shocked. He was himself eating Beef biryani and the beggar asked for Chicken. For your information Chicken biryani is costlier than Beef biryani.
There are many other ways they attract attention and ask for money as if you have borrowed it from them.
They are so professional I even found two beggars sitting in sun with umbrella at mosque's gate. They don't want to miss any opportunity even if they have to sit in shining sun during summer.

The most important thing to note here, Allah is no more involved in any of these transactions. They have stopped asking in the name of Allah. Don't expect Dua in return.